Although recent stories in the media have triggered more interest in the topic, the responsible use of antibiotics has always been a top priority for America’s pork producers.

“We welcome a fact-based discussion about this issue, because we know that science tells us we’re doing the right thing for animal health and food safety,” said Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board. “Producers care about their animals and the safety of the food they produce. That’s really the bottom line that should be understood by everyone.”

In fact, you need only look to the 21-year history of the Pork Quality Assurance Plus program to realize the value pork producers place on using antibiotics in a strategic and judicious way.

“The Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, started by farmers in 1989, has led the way in reinforcing good on-farm practices that help ensure animals are healthy, well cared for and produce safe food,” said Wagstrom.

The National Pork Board recognizes the importance of getting the facts out about this important issue and fostering open, honest dialog about why tools such as antibiotics are a vital way to keep animals healthy and the food supply safe.

The top four messages that consumers should know about antibiotic use are:

• Antibiotics are given strategically – administered when pigs are sick, susceptible or exposed to illness.
• Using antibiotics strategically ensures that the safest meat in the world ends up on America's dinner tables. 
• Only antibiotics approved by the FDA are used to treat pigs. 
• We have a 20-year history of continuous improvement working with modern farm production to make pork better, healthier and safer to eat.

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Source: NPB